Question about the color taupe.....

illinigirlJune 26, 2013

I am a long time lurker to the GW forums and now sometimes posting over in kitchen and homebuilding forum. I am gathering ideas for a home we are planning to build, one of which is paint colors.
So onto my question: the color taupe. Does taupe have a pink undertone? If I want to avoid pink undertones in my paint colors (including my white cabinetry) is taupe a color I need to avoid?

Examples of colors I'm unsure about: BM Swiss Coffee (for cabinets)
SW Tony Taupe #7038
BM Edgecomb grey

I just don't want to end up with any pink undertones by accident. I'm going for warm golden yellows in some rooms (perhaps Chestertown Buff or something a little more clear, warm but soft grey blues, and perhaps some soft warm greys).

I have little eye for color, but I'm trying to learn.

Thanks for any input!

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This is an article that might help...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:06PM
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thanks, that does the colors I listed pink undertoned then? Is a red undertone different than a pink undertone, does it have the same effect?

paint is hard.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:47PM
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I think the grayish taupes like Edgecomb Gray are less likely to have pink undertones, but I could be wrong. I swatched EG in my house recently and didn't see any pink. I ended up choosing a lighter taupe/gray (Pale Oak). I posted a pic of PO in a different thread (see link below if you're interested).

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to thread about Pale Oak

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:06PM
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"Taupe" and "greige" are undefined colors ... not true grey, not steel grey, not charcoal. Grey-brown, brownish grey, purplish grey ... it gets strange.

Paint color is RELATIVE to the colors around it. So to be really sure, you will need to paint a sample board and look at in combination with the colors from the rest of the house, and the kitchen.

I'm going for warm golden yellows in some rooms (perhaps Chestertown Buff or something a little more clear, warm but soft grey blues, and perhaps some soft warm greys).

Grey-blues aren't warm ... they are cool. And the warm greys are warmed up by having a bit of red (your dreaded pink undertone) or yellow (maybe OK).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:24AM
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All grey will have some undertone-green, blue, pink or purple. To me, green undertone reads the most neutral.

Edgecomb might read pink in your space so I would sample. Manchester Tan has a green undertone so it reads very neutral. It's slighter warmer than edgecomb.

We used BM Natural cream which is very, vey close to edgecomb grey. It was a large area in different light situations and I loved it in most spaces except our dining room. The west light and reflection from our patio made it look very beige and not gray at all. I ended up repaiting this space white.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:54AM
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In my experience, taupe often goes to purple very easily, so I look for versions of the neutral that are a little browner. We used one in our old library (if you can stand to see it yet again) by Martin Senour called "Spiderweb." It was the perfect taupe for that room - warm but not too brown or purple, at least in our north-facing Southern exposure. It looks browner in some of the on-line versions than it really is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spiderweb (in the far right column)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:58AM
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I recently used BM Jute AF-80 in our entire vacation home. We love it - no pink undertones!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Red or yellow undertones is what makes a color "warm". Don't fear "pink"! It's in a lot more of your home furnishings and paint colors than you might think. What you're trying to avoid is something that looks too pink. Your lighting and the surrounding colors will have a large bearing on that issue though.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 2:08PM
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thanks so much everyone!
I saw a parade home with Swiss Coffee cabinets and edgecomb grey walls and didn't see any pink at all. The designer for that home said these colors had taupe undertones though. But I know lighting changes everything......I just don't want to end up choosing the wrong color and end up looking PINK.

As far as warm blue grey I guess I was thinking of Woodlawn Blue (which I currently have in my bathroom) type colors. Perhaps there is not much or any grey in that but it seems like it is toned down by something so as to not read too baby blue.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:45PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Taupe, greige, beige, khaki - and similar words have no real meaning. They're just convenient descriptor words people use when they don't have a better way to describe and/or speak to color.

Gray does not and can not have an undertone. Gray is achromatic. Achromatic means colorless. Again, assigning undertones to gray is what happens when people don't know the right words to describe what they see or know how color works.

Color experts, color and paint professionals do not use words like taupe, greige, beige, and gray is just gray except with clients and consumers. The color experts who have this color thing in the bag, acknowledge meaningless color words exclusively in color conversations with clients/consumers as an active listening to keep the conversation moving toward color decisions and resolutions.

They listen and ascertain what those words mean to the individual in front of them at that moment. Because those words mean something different to everyone. So, they interpret whatever color language an individual chooses to use and then translates that color conversation into tangible color choices.

Because it takes too much time and it's too difficult to re-educate consumers about how color and color families work. Teaching some one the correct language of paint and color is no small task and most do not have the desire to get it right -- they want everyone else to meet them on their color vocabulary terms and that is what color and paint experts know how to do best.

On one hand it's an easy solution because color pros speak many different dialects of color and as a result we all get on more quickly with color projects.

On the other it's unfortunate because it only fixes the color conundrum at hand and does nothing to fix the root of the issue -- which is most people do not understand color families and how paint color is ordered and ultimately works.

So to answer you question, does taupe have a pink undertone. Sure - it can have a pink undertone if you want it too. It can also be purple or orange or red or plaid -- since it means absolutely nothing it can be whatever you want it to be.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:45PM
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